Good evening Insiders, I think nearly all of us thought it would be Robin van Persie who would fill the massive Henry shaped hole is the Gunners attack last season, but another candidate came, maybe not from nowhere, but certainly unexpectedly, up stepped Adebayor.
On January 13, 2006, Adebayor signed for Arsenal for a reported to be £3m. 21 minutes into his debut at Birmingham, he bagged his first goal in an Arsenal shirt, but at end of the season, after scoring four goals, it appeared to most that Arsene had bought his very own giraffe on roller skates. Awful misses, bad passes, bad first touch, he broke just about every commandment in the AFC strikers bible…
The following season he took part in 44 games and scored 12 goals, notably scoring at Old Trafford and being sent off in the Carling Cup Final. The season ended with questions still hanging over he head of the big man from Togo.
12 months later, 30 goals later (one of which is one of the finest ever scored against our local rivals), Ade has his own song and had some wondering why we worried about TH14’s departure. But the more critical eye also saw some of the schoolboy errors from his first half season at the club, had not been eradicated from his game. He also seemed to suffer more than most toward the end of the season and league goals dried up.
At the start of the transfer window he spoke of he’s desire to stay at the club and build on a good season. Yet here we are, weeks away from the start of the season and we could yet lose our top scorer and a man who can lead the line like no other at the club. It will be interesting to see how he is received in the next pre-season friendlies by the fans.
Of course, if Milan decide to rebid for him and meet our now reduced £18m price tag, it will open up all sorts of options to AW, including spending big, an option that he’s been prevented from doing since the decision to spend the farm on a new stadium. Valencia’s star centre forward, David Villa, has made us all wonder how good he could be in our starting eleven, he could maybe hit the gold standard of 30 league goals.
Our own FTK has long been singing the praises of Roque Santa Cruz, a player who could certainly be as big an aerial threat and could maybe give us a little more than Ade when the ball is on the deck. Like everybody else, I think that the idea of Peter Crouch being Ade’s replacement was about as likely as Alex Ferguson giving up the half time whiskey.
It could even be that AW would use the money to bring in a much-needed Centre Half and Defensive Midfielder but…
Now I’m not Ade’s biggest fan and the idea of Villa and Cesc both in our starting eleven makes me weak at the knees but sooner rather than later Mr. Wenger is going to have to send a clear message to our players, other clubs and fans. He needs to show all the before mentioned that this side, the side he’s spent 3 years building, is ready.
We cannot enter into a continuing cycle of forever looking for the final piece of our puzzle. Liverpool need the combined powers of Sherlock Holmes, Taggart, Morse and even Jessica Fletcher (for those who remember Murder, She Wrote) to solve the mystery of how the arrival of Torres hasn’t won them the league but to me it seems obvious, since Rafa’s arrival the squad has been in constant change.
Ade needs to be told as he returns to pre-season training, in no uncertain terms, that he’s going nowhere, “not for money or gold” was the party line a few weeks ago and nothing should have changed. He should also apologise to the Arsenal fans for his unfortunate comments and arrogant attitude. As for the rest of this squad, it’s time to stand and deliver. In fact Arsene Wenger has today said on the club’s website
“Adebayor is a player of Arsenal Football Club and I am very confident he’ll stay,” said the Frenchman.
“If you come in tomorrow with £400 million then maybe I would think about it. But I don’t really want to go in to speculation. I want to keep Adebayor.”
Well for four hundred million pounds I’d say bye bye to Ade and pay for the air ticket myself, but how likely is that to happen?